There are so many noble and notable women in scripture and throughout history, but there are always those who stand out because of their sinfulness and dedicated intent to do evil.
One such is surely Jezebel. She was the daughter of a Baal worshipper and gave over her life to serving this false god and getting the people around her to do the same. She hated the God of Israel and also His prophet, Elijah.
She tried many times to take Elijah’s life and God had to protect him from her evil intentions. She wanted control and to have the opulent things of this life, so she managed to marry Ahab, the evil king of Israel. Ahab was weak and Jezebel was adept at getting him to do whatever she wanted.
Jezebel pursues evil to such an extent, that her own false prophets were killed, and members of her own family were given up to the pleasure of the fake god, Baal.
Jezebel painted her face and decked herself out with the richest of clothes. She reflected the wantonness in her worldly heart and her desire to make herself in her own image.
She was not loved… Some of her servants threw her out of an upstairs window and she fell into the street, splattering blood everywhere. No one would pick her body up, so the dogs of the city ate her. At least they ate her except her skull, feet and the palms of her hands…
A bloody, violent and God-forsaken death…
Mary Magdalene was born in Magdala, a town of great immorality and idol worship. She lived a life of depravity, making her living from pandering to others. She may have been a prostitute, but her life was certainly far from God ways, without love and a with settled hardness of heart. She also had seven devils living in her body, and the outworking of this for her peace and rest, would have been too dreadful to write.
Mary was trapped in a life so dreadful, with no opportunity to get out. A slave to sin and the power of Satan..
But one day she met Jesus. She instantly recognised Him and her heart longed to be free from the sin so that she could relate to him. Jesus reached out to her, forgave her for every sin, and set her free from Satan’s vile grasp… No one else could or would do this for her.
O how she loved Him… She followed Him everywhere and gave of her earnings in business to support Jesus and the disciples. She adored Him because of what He had done for her and because of who He is. She poured vastly expensive perfume over Him, something no one else had ever done before or ever again. She watched Him die, refusing to leave him. She was there when they took him down and put Him in the tomb.
Mary was the first to see the risen Lord, such was His love for her. What a privilege…
What is the difference between these two women? Both sinful and stuck in a life of vice and depravity.
The difference is that Mary met the Lord Jesus. She was found by Him, and released from her bonds. He changed her and set her free. She confessed her sin and was forgiven everything.
This is the only thing that makes a “good” woman…. this is the only power that can change us and release us from our sinful selves and make us able to please God…. The power and love of a Saviour who suffered in our place, is what makes the difference.